Forget expensively priced Windows 8 tablets with large screens that are great for productivity, but make enjoying media and reading booms a bit of a hassle. The HP Stream 7 is an Intel-powered Windows 8 tablet that’s available for just $99 as a part of Microsoft’s Black Friday 2014 deals.
And you can buy it right now.
Microsoft began selling the HP Stream 7 shortly after it first teased its Black Friday 2014 deals. Users buying the $99 HP Stream 7 are getting a pretty decent Windows 8 tablet for watching videos, reading books and browsing the internet.
The HP Stream 7 has a 7-inch display as its name suggests. Inside is an Intel Atom quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Users can add more storage using a MicroSD card just like they can with other tablets and even smartphones. There are only two ports on the entire device, a single MicroUSB 2.0 port and a headphone jack. There are both a front-facing and rear-facing camera, though neither one of them are going to be up to current smartphone standards. The rear-facing camera is only capable of 2 megapixel shots.
All in all it’s a great entertainment tablet for anyone who’s looking for one. Battery life is about 8 hours. Where the HP Stream 7 pulls away from the competition is in productivity extras. Running Windows 8 and having an Intel processor inside gives the HP Stream 7 powers not even Microsoft’s own Surface 2 tablet has. Apps can be installed from the Windows Store, but users can also deep dive into the Desktop and install apps they’re familiar with like iTunes and Windows Media Player. HP Stream 7 buyers would also be able to install the Desktop version of Microsoft Office if that were necessary.
Installing Microsoft Office isn’t necessary though because The HP Stream 7 comes with a free year of Office 365 Personal. Office 365 Personal grants users’ access to the complete Microsoft Office suite of apps. That means HP Stream 7 users can expect to write in Word documents and edit budgets in Excel with no problem.
The HP Stream doesn’t include HDMI video out. Instead, it has Miracast support so that users with a receiver can show things on large displays – like Power Point presentations. Free Skype credit is included in the deal too, which makes using that front-facing camera all the more likely. The HP Stream has Bluetooth, making it possible for users to connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Along with a stand, the HP Stream 7 could also be the most versatile Windows PC being sold as a part of a Black Friday 2014 deal.
Microsoft shook up Windows hardware requirements earlier this year to ensure that PC makers could create tablets like the HP Stream 7. Today, a lot of users have high-end tablets, but at some point cheaper devices will overtake devices like the iPad mini and Surface 2. The trick for Microsoft is balancing low-end specifications and making sure tablets like the HP Stream 7 run smoothly. Most reports indicate that the tablet runs fine. Users may want to limit the amount of Desktop apps they have open though. To be clear, running high-end PC games well isn’t possible either. Typical tablet games like Angry Birds will work just fine.
As this is a Microsoft Signature PC, no extra apps and services that aren’t actually needed are installed at all.
It’s unclear how long Microsoft plans on running this HP Stream 7 Black Friday 2014 deal. As such, it’s probably a good idea to move quickly if you were already planning on purchasing a low-end tablet this holiday season. Microsoft Store offers completely free shipping for orders over $75 during the holiday season.